Johnson & Johnson Reports Higher Sales in Q4 and Full Year, Forecasts Continued Growth in 2020

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NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.—Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) reported Wednesday that its sales rose in the low single digits in both the fourth quarter and full year 2019 as all three of its business segments achieved growth. The U.S. segment of the company’s contact lens business—a small piece of the company’s overall business—achieved mid-single digit growth in both the fourth quarter and full year, driven in part by the results of the Acuvue contact lens franchise, according to the announcement.

J&J said overall sales increased 1.7 percent to $20.7 billion in the fourth quarter (a 2.7 percent increase on an operational basis and 3.4 percent on an adjusted basis, which excludes currency exchange impact). For the full year, sales rose 4.5 percent on an adjusted basis to $82.1 billion.

In the U.S. market, contact lens sales rose 7.7 percent to $311 million in the fourth quarter, and rose 5.4 percent for the full year to $1.3 billion.

Net earnings for the fourth quarter rose 31.8 percent to $4.01 billion, while for the full year 2019 net earnings slipped 1.2 percent to $15.1 billion.

J&J also projected continued sales and earnings growth in its 2020 guidance to investors, noting that it expects operational sales growth in the range of 5 percent to 6 percent in 2020.

"We delivered strong underlying sales and earnings growth in 2019, driven by the strength of our pharmaceutical business, accelerating performance in our medical devices business and improved profitability in our consumer business," J&J chairman and chief executive officer Alex Gorsky said in the announcement. "As we enter into 2020 and this next decade, our strategic investments focused on advancing our pipelines and driving innovation across our entire product portfolio, position us well to deliver long-term sustainable growth and value to our shareholders."

In the U.S. vision segment (which is under the umbrella of J&J’s medical devices group), sales rose 0.9 percent to $1.79 billion, and the increase was 0.3 percent for the fourth quarter (sales totaled $428 million). On a worldwide basis, vision care sales rose 0.7 percent to $1.14 billion in the fourth quarter and rose 1.6 percent to $4.62 billion for the full year. (Worldwide sales in the vision/surgical segment declined 3 percent and 1.6 percent in the fourth quarter and full year, respectively.)

Gorsky added, "I am extremely proud of our talented and dedicated colleagues who live our credo values each and every day, and are inspired to deliver transformative health care solutions that improve the lives of our patients and consumers around the world."